So after three years of no trimming this is what appears….
So still not terminal length growing 2″ this past six months. Hopefully that will continue. Beard on…
So after three years of no trimming this is what appears….
So still not terminal length growing 2″ this past six months. Hopefully that will continue. Beard on…
Well Time continues to march on and the beard has managed to grow out to about 17 inches now measured from the lower lip to the bottom. What I found interesting is now the hair on the top of my head is also about 17 inches long. So this last six months has been worth about 2 inches to both head hair and beard. Checking back prior to 30 months I found the beard was growing at a faster rate than head hair but from month 24 to 30 they finally settled on the same progress. That is to say the head hair gained 3 inches, from 12 to 15, while the beard gained only 1 inch, from 14 to 15, over the same 6 month time span. That slower beard growth rate had me thinking terminal length was close but I am once again encouraged that more length is coming. Will the beard make it to 20 inches by next year? Time will certainly answer that question.
Head hair grew 5 inches to the beards 3 inches over the past year. So I expected head hair to reach down to the bottom of my beard at some point down the road. Now, however, they are sharing the same 0.3 inch per month growth rate so the 5 inch gap at the bottom may continue. Again time will provide that answer.
For those of you following this blog it is about like watching the grass grow, slower in fact, but for those just stumbling in the documented history may have some value. I notice more and more beards being allowed to show themselves which is a positive trend and good for men to experience.
Each beard is a unique expression and should be embraced by the man growing. Please do not judge your beard by the early stages of growth as this can doom many beards before they have a chance to mature into wonderful masterpieces. The hard part is waiting and doing nothing but washing and a bit of oil. As more length encourages more stroking this is something that naturally adds to the enjoyment and calming effect a long beard brings to the man. The price for that joy and benefit is simply time.
The beard will integrate itself into your life and become part of your identity as well as provide remarkable protection in this world and perhaps a greater connection to another. We are Spiritual beings living in flesh and blood bodies with brains that are not fully understood. I would add in my opinion the effects and benefits of long hair have also not been fully studied nor understood as well. It would be interesting to compare health statistics with a large sample of bearded vs clean shaven men. Perhaps if there was a scientifically proven, clinical health benefit, more men would embrace the idea of long beards as they age. The thing is there is little money to be made by funding that type of research save by beard soap, and beard oil makers. It would put hair salons and barbers out of business if everyone stopped cutting their hair for increased health and the razor blade companies would suffer and have to re-purpose their business, perhaps making combs and brushes. Doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies would be hurting for more business as the health benefits of long hair and beards began having the impact on mainstream populations.
Movements have been seen based on far less compelling natural evidence but where is the money for long hair and beard research? I am doing my part now the least you can do is grow your beard as long as possible and see for yourself.
So here we are after 30 months of no shaving, no cutting, no trimming. Head hair is still growing at a high rate but the beard, alas, has slowed to a trickle of its’ former growth rate gaining only an inch over the past six months and I was probably generous with the measurement. There are a few longer hairs around but I could just as easily say the beard is about the same as it was six months ago. There will be no beard to get caught in my pants zipper in the foreseeable future. My beard genes have spoken. I was hoping to report I was half way to a terminal beard at this point but that was wishful thinking as reality places it practically achieved already. Not that I don’t enjoy the few overachievers that reach my navel, overall I think I am now closer to the terminalend than four or five years of strong growth rate I hoped for. That is not to diminish how wonderful having a long beard is to me. It is my beard after all and as such is perfectly designed for me. I am enjoying it as it blows in the wind and protects my neck. So I won’t have the worlds longest or best beard. It was fun imagining the possibility during the growth progress. So the competition pressure is off and relaxing beard enjoyment is on. The hair on my head, however, continues extruding at rapid pace with no signs of slowing at this point. I suspect over the next year it will extend beyond the bottom of my beard.
So here are the numbers. It is increasingly difficult to find consistent measuring points and there are a few very long hairs at the various locations that remain off the records.
sideburns 9.5″, eyebrows, terminal at 3″, top of head 15″, chin 12.5″, neck 12.5″ checks 10″ jaw sides 14″, lower lip terminal at 1.75″, upper lip terminal at 1.5″, mouth corner terminal at 4″, lower lip to beard bottom 14-15″.
Gentlemen, beards are becoming more popular and accepted but even if that were not the case, experiencing a long beard is something I recommend for every man. Beard on…
That may seem a ridiculous statement but bear with me as I attempt to clarify. Twenty four months ago, sporting a freshly shaved head and face, I made the decision to never cut any hair growing anywhere on my body. I became involved in beard research.After about six months I joined a beard forum and was diligent in reporting month to month changes. The first year was a year of adjustments, major changes in appearance, and discovering a terrific group of bearded men, enthused, curious, as well experienced beard growers willing to share, mentor, and encourage every man to discover the benefits of razor freedom. Check out the Beard Board. The yeard, or twelve month untrimmed beard was a great milestone and the first real test of dedication and commitment. Make it through that first year and things get easier because one is established as bearded among friends and family. Making it through the holiday get togethers, job interviews, marriages, and other major life events that can put pressure to shave on high. Without some kind of beard support many good men cave to the pressure and then experience regret about trimming or shaving their beards. This is the freshman year. Make it past that and the focus changes. I am speaking now to the full natural beard growers. There are many men who choose a neat beard and hair style for them and maintain that style over the years or enjoy exchanging different styles of head hair and facial hair combinations. Many signature looks have come out of this practice. For the purpose of this blog we will stay focused strictly on the full, natural, untrimmed journey to terminal length. There are many great sites for grooming and styling tips and support if that is your choice. There is no condemnation here toward trimmers, I used to be one myself, and any facial hair is better than none. I saw a T-shirt that says – There is a name for people without beards – ……WOMEN. I got a kick out of that.
During the second growing year the beard reporting tapered off, 3 month, then 6 month, intervals seemed too shot. The beard became natural and less of an oddity with fewer changes to report. The time between my last, eighteen month, report and this one went by in the blink of an eye and not a great deal of noticeable change. Now my sophomore beard year is completed. I have earned an associate beard degree and happily enter my junior and senior years progressing toward terminal length. At this point I find many overachieving hairs two or three inched ahead of the flock. Those hairs are very adventurous, exploring on their own and ending up caught in, or soaked in, or covered with whatever may be within their extended reach. Like a toddler learning to walk can explore himself into danger, beard precautions must be taken to prevent injury.
I am hopefully looking forward to having the longest beard in any room, a goal admittedly many years away, which is why I feel like I am still at the beginning of the journey. I do concede that, in fact, my journey is well begun, but subjectively still feel closer to the beginning than the end at this point.
This next year will be revealing and already I may be adjusting my expectations. While there are many hairs exuberantly growing past the bulk it is the bulk that I would like to see continue growing with some force. The length from lower lip to bottom of beard is more difficult to determine. I’ll call it 14″ at this point thicker at 13″ and a few hairs at 16″. It is natural for some hairs to grow faster and why a trim of those overachievers makes the beard look fuller. Since trimming is not an option for me anymore the wispy end of my beard calls for subjective measurements. So I excluded the longest hairs from the measurements but there are some really long ones at every location measured. Here is a reasonable account of the length – sideburns 9″, eyebrows 3″, top of head 12″,chin 11″,cheeks 8″ jawsides 12″, lower lip 1.75″, upper lip 1.5″ mouth corner 4″, lower lip to bottom 14″.
So the facial hair is still gaining length but thinning at the extremes. The head hair, on the other hand is growing solid and thick in spite of losing several comb-fulls every day.
Have added some Hemp oil to my blend of jojoba, argan, castor oil blend. I have read some good things about Hemp oil and it does have a nice nutty taste for salads as well.
My favorite beard soap is still Alcatraz Rock Beard Bar but I also rotate among other natural soap products and never use shampoo.
I am happy to see more and more men wearing beards and would encourage all men to let their beards grow as well.
I had a friend comment to me the other day that he had forgotten what I looked like so I showed him my drivers license picture. The person in that picture no longer exists. The old picture always causes some issues when I present that license for identification and the license won’t be renewed until 2016. Anyway, it is obvious that growing a beard changes a man significantly. Beyond the physical appearance there are changes that occur inside the man. Changes in how the world is perceived and felt. The beard is comforting and warm against the cold of winter winds protecting it’s master from harsh elements. It provides personal security somewhat difficult to articulate due to its subjective nature but nevertheless real. The thought just occurred to me that the beard is an identity thief. Growing a beard takes away your previous identity, removes facial recognition and gives the grower a fresh start. It requires patience and perseverance but like a wonderful witness protection plan you will be given a new identity over time. The longer you stay in the beard’s plan the more comfortable it becomes and while there is always the option to trim, shape or shave, that option becomes less desirable due to the deep bond and relationship that develops between the beard and the man. If you want to completely change your life grow a beard and make a commitment to that beard. Many commitments start with three months or six months and there is a great deal of support available at the beard board to help you get through the awkward stages of early beard growth. Many a man gives up too soon because they see what appears to be a patchy thin beard and don’t think they could ever possibly grow anything presentable and usually they are wrong about that. There are many documented cases to be found that will encourage you to stay the course and see the amazing transformation that awaits your patiently resisting the temptation to shave. Really, after all, the only requirement to grow a beard is to stop shaving it off. That’s all I had to do and I am very content knowing I will never have to shave again.
Thank you for checking in and thinking about growing your own masterpiece. Beard on….
Today makes one and a half years of no shaving, trimming, cutting, or plucking any hair that grows on my body. Nothing major to report these last six months, just a continued acclimation and subtle length increases. Longer head hair has become more noticeable now than the beard requiring more grooming time due to its’ thickness and propensity for knots.
In keeping with the tradition and relative scientific value here are the rough measurements after 18 months of growing. Remember this was after starting with a completely shaved head and face.
Top of Head 10″
Lower Lip 1.5″
Upper Lip 1.25″
Mouth Corner 3″
Lower Lip to Bottom of beard 12″ – Yes I suppose now I can say it is a footlong beard.
A few more pictures…
Having the beard is very natural and the last six growing months have not even seemed worthy of writing about. Naturally I still am impatient to discover the terminal length of all my hair, but in the meantime, life continues. I still inspire the occasional Santa comments from people but driving my smart fortwo probably garners more attention than the beard. During the first year of beard growing I was updating every month and very involved with beard forums and beard products, and beard competitions all of which were fine and fun. Now after 18 months I seem less interested in hair and hair growth. I don’t think I have the necessary competition worthy beard genes and that suits me just fine as I don’t really like to show off anyway. I am still interested in the beard competitions and happy the beard is making headway into the mainstream. Growing the beard was more like coming out as someone – in my case a bearded man. Now that I am a bearded man I can go on with other interests. Life is not all about the beard anymore but life with the beard is clearly a better life for me. The ups and downs of daily life seem tempered by the beard. It gives balance, continuity, and yes, strength to my life. As a man of faith, which is the substance of things unseen, I continue to enjoy the blessings of life as they manifest. I have seen improvements and experienced setbacks, but as the beard grows, so do I. I continue to recommend growing a beard or, I should say, I recommend stopping shaving for a time allowing the man to experience bearded life. After a while you will realize it is a natural way for a man to live. So natural, in fact, there will hardly be anything to write about….
Twelve Month Beard, Happy New Year!
In the beard community ( a community with a lot of new growth recently, pun intended) the term “yeard” refers to a beard that has been growing, untrimmed, for twelve months, one year. So one year beard = yeard. There is some ongoing yeard controversy regarding trimming, shaping, necklines, cheek lines, as to when is a yeard not a yeard. As for me, I started with a completely shaved head Last November and have not shaved, trimmed, or cut, a single hair off my head. I have lost many hairs in the comb, however, more from my head than my beard, and continue to shed hairs daily. It is normal to shed hair so if you experience a lot of hair in your comb, don’t worry about it too much.
My goal is to experience “terminal length” but that may be a misnomer because hair growth involves three phases. According to wikipedia, so it may be “terminal time” and protecting hair as it grows that determines one’s ultimate overall length. Beard hair and head hair are obviously two different types of hair. Personally, I notice beard hair grows faster than head hair. I also noticed that some hair is thicker. Using a digital caliper I found my head hair to be thinner than beard hair, with eyebrow and mustache hair thicker than chin hair. Obviously, there is plenty of time available when growing a long beard.
This is a cut and paste from Wikipedia;
“Hair follows a specific growth cycle with three distinct and concurrent phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen phases. Each phase has specific characteristics that determine the length of the hair. All three phases occur simultaneously; one strand of hair may be in the anagen phase, while another is in the telogen phase.
The body has different types of hair, including vellus hair and androgenic hair, each with its own type of cellular construction. The different construction gives the hair unique characteristics, serving specific purposes, mainly warmth and protection.”
I would add the beard does far more on many subjective levels. Growing a long natural beard brings a new perceived identity to a man and can overshadow all other personality traits. A natural disguise, or camo that designates a long bearded man into one of only a few categories available to the general public, processing the unusual appearance regardless of who the individual is behind the beard. This public perception is slowly changing as more men make the commitment to longer natural beards and work in a greater variety of occupations. I have noticed recently more beards in TV advertising spots.
Anyway, now that I have completed my Freshman beard year, I think my analogy to a university degree will work for the next three growing years and then I may have to continue to graduate school if the beard is still growing longer. After four years with no trimming, a bachelor of beard term, graduates should proudly display a very long beard diploma. We need more men enrolled in this life changing course. The first year commitment is probably the most difficult to complete and there are many dropouts for various personal reasons. I am very pleased to be starting my sophomore beard year now but also impatient to graduate.
The beard comments I receive now are positive, mostly references to Santa Claus. I have had to pose with a stranger for a picture, now posted on Ramona’s facebook page so she could tell her nine year old “Santa came early”. I met Ramona, who was in charge of a hospital holding area, while my wife was in the ER for testing. Also met a man working transport who has been growing his very nice Amish style beard since February. He stopped my forward progress as my wife was wheeled away from me toward radiology. He said keeping the mustache shaved helped him look cleaner for the hospital environment. After several minutes of conversation he helped me access through the restricted hospital maze card scanners to catch up with my wife and went on his way. We had many laughs with nurses and technicians in a normally stressful and somewhat depressing ER hospital situation. The beard was very useful in creating a much lighter atmosphere and cheering up other patients. One who boldly told me she wanted a new car for Christmas.
So here are some pictures of the yeard.
Since I started with a completely shaved head I have been taking periodic measurements from various locations on my head. It is interesting to see the different growth rates. These are the results after the first year. Remember your results may vary.
Top of Heard 6 1/2 inches
Eyebrows 2 1/4 inches
Sideburns 6 inches
Cheeks 4 inches
Upper lip 1 1/2 inches
Lower lip 1 1/2 inches
Mouth corner 4 inches
Jaw sides 8 inches
Chin 7 inches
Neck 8 inches
Competition measure length lower lip to bottom of beard is 9 inches or .075 inches per month for the first 12 months average.